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Cheltenham going

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    It can’t be easy for the CoC’s getting the ground right on the day in our climate, and Simon Claisse has a thankless task in trying to suit everyone  for this year’s festival. However, with his stated intention of having ‘soft’ in the going description this year, isn’t there a danger of him over-reacting to last year’s fatalities and producing false ground for the whole of the meeting?<br>I appreciate there were an inordinate number of horses killed at last year’s meeting, but wasn’t that just a blip as, since the drainage work was completed, the ground has been on the fast side for the majority of the festivals without major problems?<br>As it stands, all 4 Championship races could be affected; 10 out of the 12 horses shortest in the betting appear favoured by better ground, with the favourites for these and a number of other races all disadvantaged, in some measure, by soft ground or worse, and the distinct possibility of a number of results being engineered by the hosepipe.<br>Either way, it can’t be an easy decision, but does it really have to be soft?<br>

    dave 22
    • Total Posts 339

    i think the soft, heavy in places may be as a result of the rain we’ve been having, possibly!<br>So to answer your question, does it have to be soft? its not a choice, its nature!! this year anyway

    • Total Posts 455

    Don’t get too carried away by today’s weather when it comes to assessing Cheltenham’s going in mid-March. I’ve known it to be soft on Monday at Stratford, three days before they’re breaking course records at the Festival.

    • Total Posts 129

    More heavy rain in Cheltenham today.  Get on 2-1 for soft going at the start of meeting.  It may dry out quickly, but we have had more rain here in jan and feb for many years.

    • Total Posts 17722


    If it’s naturally soft, no problem.<br>If it’s induced then it’s unfair; and to quite a lot of short-priced horses this year.<br>I hope you’re right about it not being soft this year, though there does seem to be a determination that it will be.<br>

    • Total Posts 2065

    Will the official description not be good to soft whatever the true going is?

    • Total Posts 75

    Just looking at the 5 Day Weather Forcast and looks like showers are still due late next week im starting to believe that its going to be proper Soft Ground. I see Newmill is available at 80 for the Champion i think that might be worth a fiver.

    • Total Posts 529

    <br>Saw Country File’s weather forecast for next week today and it basically said rain, rain & more rain to come.

    It’s heavy all over at Cheltenham now – if the Festival were this week, it would be OFF IMO.

    • Total Posts 349

    Precisely why they WON’T call it heavy imo Paul.

    Heavy on Day 1 + Rain = Knackered festival.

    They will be praying for a couple of days of dry weather from next weekend onwards so they can call it Soft at worst.

    • Total Posts 1194

    unlesss its genuinely fast ground,  i cant see myself making any money this year.  I find it a useful strategy to identify horses running well in softer conditions that might step up based on breeding.  Also ground that is fair to all horses is not nescessarily fair to us the punter.

    On the subject of the artificial results due to watering, couldnt the installation of super draining be viewed in the same way?


    • Total Posts 6940

    Quote: from Grasshopper on 9:08 pm on Feb. 28, 2007[br]<br>All of this season’s form – relative to the Festival at least – has for the very large part, been displayed on Soft ground; whether it be in the UK or in the old country.

    Soft ground during the Festival is therefore surely much more likely to produce ‘sane’ and ‘predictable’ results, than is sometimes the case, no?<br>

    <br>Precisely – in the face of such an otherwise soggy winter, a Cheltenham run on anything good or faster this year will be largely incongruous in the context of the entire season.

    In the likely event of deep ground at Cheltenham, I will be watching with interest to see if it really does give rise to the series of wall-to-wall unedifying, slow-motion finishes that the lead article in this year’s Timeform Chasers and Hurdlers suggested the positive image of the sport can ill afford nowadays.

    (For what it’s worth I don’t seem to remember too many people watching Master Oats’ or Desert Orchid’s bad ground Gold Cup wins through cracks in their fingers or with a sense of revulsion, but what do I know?)


    (Edited by graysonscolumn at 5:47 pm on Mar. 5, 2007)

    The patron saint of lower-grade fare. A gently critical friend of point-to-pointing. Kindness is a political act.

    • Total Posts 87

    Anyone know how to do Sun Dance ? :biggrin:

    • Total Posts 232

    My parents walked the course yesterday….and its wet and currently heavy…….and its rained there non stop yesterday….

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    been a nice sunny dry day so far i live near cheltenham and its been lovely all day <br>simz

    • Total Posts 6

    Hey guys – I’m a new member! I live about a mile from the course and we’ve had great weather all weekend. There are a few dark clouds about right now but I think the ground will be drying out quite well.

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